Monday, February 06, 2006

Ruminating...

Today I put my plans on hold to take my 7 year old to emergency.

Why?

Well, he twisted his foot, and since the same foot has recently been broken and he was in extreme pain, I decided it was worth having a look at.

How did he twist his foot?

Walking. Sort of.

See, this boy isn’t capable of walking. Every step he takes has a skip or a hop to it. He can’t just move, he has to move in the most energetic way possible. And that makes him more accident-prone.

Such is the life of my ADHD child.

If only I were a farmer and could open the door and let him out to run in the fields, herd cattle and train the sheepdog. That is the kind of life his energy level needs.

That is the kind of life humanity lived for thousands upon thousands of years.

We were created to hunt, to forage, to fight for survival. We were given energy to protect and care for ourselves, and the people around us.

Now, we are expected to sit still, focus, read, print, type, listen, concentrate, and so much more. Oh, and if we are lucky, the schools will work in a half an hour of exercise three times a week.

Is it really any wonder that we have so many kids with this ‘disorder’ we call ADHD?

And is it, really, a disorder? Or is it perfectly normal, and our society has the disorder?

And, if that is true – how is a parent supposed to handle it?

I mean, if in my heart of hearts I know there isn’t anything really wrong with my son, and that in fact he is blessed with a good dose of energy to take care of himself and his family… then why would I allow him to be labelled with a disorder and medicated for it?

Ad yet, in my heart of hearts I also know that he doesn’t fit in. He can’t focus, can’t sit still, can’t be successful in the society that he exists in. I may wish we didn’t live in this modern, sedentary world, but the fact is that we do. If medicating makes him able to meet the expectations set upon him, and not medicating him essentially sets him up for failure and disappointment, how can I not allow him to be medicated?

I would like to think that I can change the world. That I can forge new understanding, change the education system. Find ways for individuals who still have the energy required to farm and forage to get different education that uses that energy, to be successful given the tools they have.

But I can’t. And who am I really helping if I deny my son the means to be successful in the system he is in?

I am so confused.

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